Friday, December 17, 2010

Si and Santa

Josiah and I went to The Big City mall to visit Santa Claus today!

All morning I asked Si if was wanted to go see Santa and every time he said "no". He changed his mind pretty quickly when we walked in and spotted all of this....

visiting santa 6
santa mosiac 3
His eyes were so wide and he kept squealing with delight shouting "Christmas! Christmas!". There were a few little boys and girls in line in front of us so we waited patiently as we got some details from Santa's helpers.

Nearly all of the kiddos had to be coaxed onto the big man in red's lap by their moms or dads. Santa took quite a bit of time with each one, which I thought was very sweet. Si was obviously happy to see Mr. Claus from afar, but I wondered how he'd react once it was his own turn!
santa mosaic 2
Once the "elf" gave us the go ahead, Josiah did a happy dance {no joke!}. Then he galloped right over to Santa with his hands raised up high saying "Up pease".

It was absolutely an adorable sight. I couldn't help but giggle.

Si and Santa chatted for a few moments about Si's Christmas sweater and how old Si was and how wonderful that Blue the blanket came along for the visit.

Then they took a picture together....

si and santa
Santa gave my boy a souvenir book and together they let out a "ho ho ho" {although Si always leaves off the last "ho"} before waving good-bye.

Si loved seeing Santa and I loved seeing my boy smile so big!

*****
Last night Josh and I were discussing how we're going to incorporate Santa into the holidays this year and beyond now that Josiah is getting older.

We have Santa decorations in our home, we give goodies for St. Nick day, and we bring our kiddo to visit Mr. Claus this time of year {obviously! :-)}, but we will not be doing the whole Santa-brings-you-gifts-on-Christmas-thing.

While we find absolutely nothing wrong with it, we just don't choose to do it with our family. I suppose it feels most natural to us since neither Josh or I grew up in families that "believed" in Santa.

Growing up, gifts at Christmas under the tree always came from our parents. My mom once told me that she and my dad didn't incorporate Santa into gifts partly because they were "selfish" and wanted us kids to know that they worked hard to save money to pick out and purchase those gifts for us. I don't think that was selfish at all!! I, too, want Josiah to always know that the gifts he receives are from mama and dada! Plus, we want everything about Christmas to be centered around truth - the Truth of the Savior.

We think it's wonderful that Josiah finds much happiness in the character of Santa just like he finds joy in watching Mickey Mouse {we're visiting him at Disney this coming summer!} or playing with his Diego rescue playset.

After all, Santa is pretty awesome....

visiting santa 5
So I'm wondering, how do you incorporate Santa Claus into your household?! Obviously there's no right or wrong, I'm just curious! Feel free to share!

Happy-one-week-til-Christmas-Eve!!

Or as Si would say "ho ho!"



21 comments:

  1. we are doing the EXACT same thing as your family! i thought we were the only ones, lol! we did the santa visit/picture (and briar TOLD him what she's getting instead of asking, haha!), watch santa movies, etc., but briar will always know that her gifts are from mommy and daddy.

    merry christmas!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is one positively beautiful Santa! If that word can be used to describe him.
    We feel the same way as you - in our house, Santa is just a fun character around the holidays. But he doesn't bring anything. Gifts are from people, not Santa.
    When I was a kid, though, Santa filled our stockings and usually brought us one toy that my parents quelled our pleas with a "maybe" and a twinkle in their eyes. :)
    But Santa is just a fun dude in our house now with the girls.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is a fabulous Santa!!!! We're kind of following our kids' leads this year. Last year, Santa brought a couple of small gifts and mom and dad gave the major thing--a train! But this year, my oldest (4 years old) told me adamantly that Santa only brings one gift, and the rest are from mom and dad. So I'm happy to go along with that. I even asked him if Santa wraps gifts or just leaves them. Whatever makes them happy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. i love this post. Si is soooo cute!

    we do one gift from santa and then the rest are from mommy and daddy. we also leave cookies and milk and sugar and carrots for the reindeer. i'm really excited about that this year!

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  5. Happened upon your blog and was intriqued. I was taken by your statement about everything being around the Truth of Jesus, which is a wonderful thing. But then to be not so truthful about Santa and his non existent role in the truth of Christmas?? Just a thought.

    you have a beautiful boy. I have a grandson about his age. It is a precious time for sure.

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  6. Hi!

    We have one daughter who is almost 2, and we are about to start our homestudy to bring home a South Korean angel baby! :) Your blog has been so inspiring--thank you!

    We have decided that Santa will be stockings only. All other presents (though we don't do very many), will be from Mommy and Daddy :) This is a great compromise, because the magic is still there, but the emphasis is small. We want the credit, too! Haha!

    Thanks again for your great blog!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Looks like Josiah had a WONDERFUL visit with Santa. I love the photos...especially the one of Santa's coat hanging on the coat rack. Lovely!

    We try to strike a balance between Santa and the true meaning of Christmas. Santa will bring one present and a few things in the stocking. That's plenty.

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  8. I've been reading your blog for awhile now and just felt like I had to comment on this post. First can I say how awesome your Santa is! He looks so kind and approachable - it's no wonder Si jumped right up - I would too!

    I think it's wonderful to let kids get joy out of whatever they can. I loved your comparison to Mickey and Diego. My son just had his first birthday, but as he grows we plan to do something similar to what you described. Santa can be a special character at Christmas, but he isn't the reason we celebrate. Have a wonderful holiday!

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  9. Rachel, I think I said this on FB already but that Santa really looks like the real deal! Si looks so cute on his lap, he really found the joy in visiting the man in red - so wonderful!!! I think your approach with Santa makes total sense. I did grow up with Santa bringing us gifts along with my parents, too, and Santa filled our stockings. I don't know what we'll do with Max but I figure we have another year to figure it all out since he doesn't really get it this year anyway. Merry Christmas to your beautiful family, I am so happy to have you part of my life.

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  10. I'd be pretty excited about Santa too with all that glitz & glitter - what a wonderful Santa!!
    Santa is kinda a big deal in our house. We will be leaving cookies & milk. He is bringing stockings and a few presents - while others will be from M & I. I read a book a few years ago called The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn. It's a fictional story, but tells the story of Santa, starting in biblical times as Saint Nicholas where he gave food and eventually toys to families in need. I loved that story and it makes the idea of Santa a little easier to introduce to our son. We also talk about the real meaning of Christmas though - celebrating the birth of Jesus - I want to ensure that Alex knows that is the real reason why we have Christmas.

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  11. Oh, bless his little heart "Up pease!" I bet that Santa just ate him up!
    It was fun reading everyone's comments.
    Both Rob and I grew up having "Santa" gifts and stockings filled. The difference between us came Rob opened gifts Christmas Eve and only got Santa gifts on Christmas day and then they went to Grandma's house. We only opened gifts Chirstmas morning, so it was hard to keep straight what was from "who" EXCEPT stocking stuff, which was always treats, chocolate and lip balm. (I'm giddy thinking about it. I love how my mom filled our stockings!)
    We have taken the Cox view of opening gifts on Christmas Eve. We have and elf, Norman, that comes to stay and keep watch. We leave milk and cookies out and Santa brings a gift or two and fills stockings.
    We also have a basket, that the kids earn "straw" to make a bad for baby Jesus. And he appears in his bed on Christmas morning. We bake a cake, for his birthday too. Nina is at the age where some of her friends are saying "Santa's not real." We have decided that when it's time tell her the truth it will be something along these lines:
    Santa was a real person that gave gifts because he was kind and generous and that's how he showed his love.
    God gave us the greatest gift on Christmas. It is magic, it is love, it is the spirit of giving. Now that you know the secret, you get to be apart of making things magical.

    We ask our children to believe in Christ, we can show them pictures and read them stories but they won't find him sitting in the mall...Santa gives them a "reality" that they can see, hear, touch...in time they will learn the "truth" that no, a red suited man really doesn't come in our house...but Like Jesus, Like God BOTH were very real and both gave because they loved.
    Easter for us is when we reflect on WHY Jesus came and WHAT he did for us. Christmas is about his BIRTH and the fact that God gave the world a very SPECIAL GIFT.
    ho ho ho! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, bless his little heart "Up pease!" I bet that Santa just ate him up!
    It was fun reading everyone's comments.
    Both Rob and I grew up having "Santa" gifts and stockings filled. The difference between us came Rob opened gifts Christmas Eve and only got Santa gifts on Christmas day and then they went to Grandma's house. We only opened gifts Chirstmas morning, so it was hard to keep straight what was from "who" EXCEPT stocking stuff, which was always treats, chocolate and lip balm. (I'm giddy thinking about it. I love how my mom filled our stockings!)
    We have taken the Cox view of opening gifts on Christmas Eve. We have and elf, Norman, that comes to stay and keep watch. We leave milk and cookies out and Santa brings a gift or two and fills stockings.
    We also have a basket, that the kids earn "straw" to make a bad for baby Jesus. And he appears in his bed on Christmas morning. We bake a cake, for his birthday too. Nina is at the age where some of her friends are saying "Santa's not real." We have decided that when it's time tell her the truth it will be something along these lines:
    Santa was a real person that gave gifts because he was kind and generous and that's how he showed his love.
    God gave us the greatest gift on Christmas. It is magic, it is love, it is the spirit of giving. Now that you know the secret, you get to be apart of making things magical.

    We ask our children to believe in Christ, we can show them pictures and read them stories but they won't find him sitting in the mall...Santa gives them a "reality" that they can see, hear, touch...in time they will learn the "truth" that no, a red suited man really doesn't come in our house...but Like Jesus, Like God BOTH were very real and both gave because they loved.
    Easter for us is when we reflect on WHY Jesus came and WHAT he did for us. Christmas is about his BIRTH and the fact that God gave the world a very SPECIAL GIFT.
    ho ho ho! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh, bless his little heart "Up pease!" I bet that Santa just ate him up!
    It was fun reading everyone's comments.
    Both Rob and I grew up having "Santa" gifts and stockings filled. The difference between us came Rob opened gifts Christmas Eve and only got Santa gifts on Christmas day and then they went to Grandma's house. We only opened gifts Chirstmas morning, so it was hard to keep straight what was from "who" EXCEPT stocking stuff, which was always treats, chocolate and lip balm. (I'm giddy thinking about it. I love how my mom filled our stockings!)
    We have taken the Cox view of opening gifts on Christmas Eve. We have and elf, Norman, that comes to stay and keep watch. We leave milk and cookies out and Santa brings a gift or two and fills stockings.
    We also have a basket, that the kids earn "straw" to make a bad for baby Jesus. And he appears in his bed on Christmas morning. We bake a cake, for his birthday too. Nina is at the age where some of her friends are saying "Santa's not real." We have decided that when it's time tell her the truth it will be something along these lines:
    Santa was a real person that gave gifts because he was kind and generous and that's how he showed his love.
    God gave us the greatest gift on Christmas. It is magic, it is love, it is the spirit of giving. Now that you know the secret, you get to be apart of making things magical.

    We ask our children to believe in Christ, we can show them pictures and read them stories but they won't find him sitting in the mall...Santa gives them a "reality" that they can see, hear, touch...in time they will learn the "truth" that no, a red suited man really doesn't come in our house...but Like Jesus, Like God BOTH were very real and both gave because they loved.
    Easter for us is when we reflect on WHY Jesus came and WHAT he did for us. Christmas is about his BIRTH and the fact that God gave the world a very SPECIAL GIFT.
    ho ho ho! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, bless his little heart "Up pease!" I bet that Santa just ate him up!
    It was fun reading everyone's comments.
    Both Rob and I grew up having "Santa" gifts and stockings filled. The difference between us came Rob opened gifts Christmas Eve and only got Santa gifts on Christmas day and then they went to Grandma's house. We only opened gifts Chirstmas morning, so it was hard to keep straight what was from "who" EXCEPT stocking stuff, which was always treats, chocolate and lip balm. (I'm giddy thinking about it. I love how my mom filled our stockings!)
    We have taken the Cox view of opening gifts on Christmas Eve. We have and elf, Norman, that comes to stay and keep watch. We leave milk and cookies out and Santa brings a gift or two and fills stockings.
    We also have a basket, that the kids earn "straw" to make a bad for baby Jesus. And he appears in his bed on Christmas morning. We bake a cake, for his birthday too. Nina is at the age where some of her friends are saying "Santa's not real." We have decided that when it's time tell her the truth it will be something along these lines:
    Santa was a real person that gave gifts because he was kind and generous and that's how he showed his love.
    God gave us the greatest gift on Christmas. It is magic, it is love, it is the spirit of giving. Now that you know the secret, you get to be apart of making things magical.

    We ask our children to believe in Christ, we can show them pictures and read them stories but they won't find him sitting in the mall...Santa gives them a "reality" that they can see, hear, touch...in time they will learn the "truth" that no, a red suited man really doesn't come in our house...but Like Jesus, Like God BOTH were very real and both gave because they loved.
    Easter for us is when we reflect on WHY Jesus came and WHAT he did for us. Christmas is about his BIRTH and the fact that God gave the world a very SPECIAL GIFT.
    ho ho ho! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. It looks like Si had so much fun with Santa! The photo turned out so cute. We've pretty much decided not to do Santa as well. We want to focus on Christ and the true meaning of Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love this. :) So fun to get vibrant pictures of your life.

    I'm so with you on the santa thing. Neither Dave or I grew up believing in santa. Our kids know that some of their friends truly believe he is real, and that he brings them presents, so they don't want to spoil it for them :) but they know that their (simple) gifts come from our heart and from US. ;)

    I was always concerned that if we told them a story for several years, until they were 10 or 12 or so, and then said, "Oh, by the way that was a big made up story. None of it is actually real! Sorry!" - What else would they begin to totally question?? Is Jesus real? Did he really die on the cross for our sins and then come alive again? Can mommy and daddy be trusted?

    So that is my soap box and now I am stepping down. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  17. LOVE LOVE LOVE the picture with Santa- so adorable!!!!
    We do the whole Santa thing only because that is how we were both raised. I LOVE you ideas and only wished we had started it sooner, our kids are 5 and 3.
    Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  18. We are going through this now as well. We do not press Santa hard in our house (nor do we go visit him), so it's not the main thing gong on right now. Our kindergartener talks about him occasionally, but it's usually something that a friend has said.
    On a side note, I just get concerned with the kids having to be "good" all year to get presents from Santa during Christmas. I want my kids to treat others with compassion, kindness and honesty because it's the way Jesus has called us to treat each other, not to earn a gift from an imaginary figure!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Si is such a sweet boy with Santa. We do St Nick too (though, I forgot this year). Is it a Wisconsin thing?

    ReplyDelete
  20. OK, that is one AWESOME Santa and "Santa Station!" And the pics of your boy waiting, and then on his lap?! Oh my. LOVE. (Also love the shots you got of the surroundings... I'm jealous!)

    Now, Santa. As you know, Spencer is under the impression that Santa brings Baby Jesus. So we have some issues to work out. That said, we do have Santa visiting in this house. Mama and Dada keep it more simple on the gifts. (One you want, one you need, one you wear, and one you read.) But Santa, well, our boy is going to find one big present from him under the tree, and a stocking. We don't want Spencer to grow up thinking it's all about the gifts (and my word, he gets enough from everyone else)and as he gets older, we plan to incorporate the story of how "Santa" came to be. (Which means I should check out that book that Krista mentioned)For now though, it's a little bit of magic. And as the magic of Santa evolves in our son, it will hopefully become more about giving than receiving. You know? (I actually have a post going up later about *believing* in Santa)

    And please don't think we are ignoring the religious side... we've got that in there too!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm a little late to the how do you incorporate Santa party, but my hubby and I have decided to not *do* Santa. Although I grew up visiting him and getting all my Christmas morning gifts from Santa, my DH's family never celebrated Christmas with Santa. Although I had fun, I am definitely willing to bend to my husband on this one since we just want to make sure the true meaning of Christmas isn't lost amidst the Santa stuff.

    ReplyDelete

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